Going into the first debate in the 2016 presidential election, it was unclear how candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would handle their very public, very high-pressure initial greeting at the event. To avoid as much inevitable awkwardness as possible, Clinton and her team apparently had a foolproof strategy: Practice makes perfect.
In a video posted to Twitter on Friday, the former presidential candidate is shown dodging “Trump’s” embrace during a debate prep session. When he goes in for the bear hug, she slaps him with a high-five-turned-handshake, then makes a run for it. As Mashable reports, the behind-the-scenes footage was shared by Clinton’s friend Philippe Reines, who also happens to be the one playing Trump in the hilarious video. “Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice,” Reines tweeted. “A favorite moment from debate prep (9/24/16),”
The footage is a bit shaky, so it wasn’t clear at first if it was really Clinton in the video, but Reines confirmed that it’s the real deal in a follow-up tweet. “That’s her, in the flesh,” he wrote.
Clinton her self latter confirmed.
And it seems the practice session paid off. When it came time for the pair’s greeting at the live debate, Clinton handled things like a pro. She and Trump shook hands, and when he tried to put his arm around her, she shifted her body toward the audience and casually shook him off.
Clinton isn’t the only one who isn’t feeling the Trump hugs. According to ABC, earlier this week, the president tried to give James Comey (a.k.a. the FBI director he fired last week) some love, and Comey was having none of it. It made for a pretty uncomfortable moment, which further proves the importance of Clinton’s prep tactics.
After all, there’s nothing more awkward than an unwanted hug—except, as it turns out, an unwanted hug from your opposition in front of an audience of millions. Cringeworthy moment, avoided.
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